Africa sees upswing in cloud appetite

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Africa is a sizeable market for cloud adoption, says Adrian Basson, founder and non-executive chairman of Digicloud Africa.

Basson was commenting on the continent’s growing appetite for cloud services, following Digicloud Africa and Google Cloud’s announcement of their channel partnership.

Yesterday, Digicloud Africa announced it has joined Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem as a value-added distributor for the Google Cloud platform and G Suite in Africa.

The partnership, according to Basson, is the culmination of year-long discussions between the parties to set up a bespoke distribution model to serve Google Cloud’s specific needs on the African continent.

In terms of the partnership, Digicloud Africa will operate as a two-tier distributor supporting G Suite and Google Cloud Platform resellers across Africa, which in turn will work with Google’s cloud customers in different vertical market segments.

Furthermore, Digicloud Africa revealed it has already signed up new distributor authorised resellers in Kenya and SA, and plans to partner with more Sub-Saharan resellers over the next two years.

“This is a solution that has been built to service Africa in the best possible way, considering all the specific skills challenges that Africa presents, addressing the needs of Google and how to address the 50-odd different countries, as well as foreign exchange control rules, and other challenges faced on a daily basis,” Basson stated.

Shai Morgan, who leads Google Cloud’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa, added: “Google’s Equiano subsea cable from Portugal to South Africa was announced only a few months ago, demonstrating our continued commitment to the continent. This new partnership agreement is yet another key milestone in building a solid foundation for Google Cloud’s business across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Cloud playground

The Digicloud Africa and Google Cloud partnership comes as SA witnesses increased activity in the cloud space, with companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft making significant inroads in the local cloud market.

In March, Microsoft opened two data centre regionsin SA, unveiling cloud data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town. AWS will also bring its data centresto SA, launching its AWS Africa (Cape Town) infrastructure region in the first half of 2020.

Google Cloud is considered one of the top three players in public cloud storage, along with AWS and Microsoft, according to the Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant.

Basson pointed out that Africa is the future, adding that sorting out connectivity issues over the last few years has been crucial. “The most important portion of cloud computing is the backbone of the network and we’ve seen a new cable landing in Africa almost every other year.

“In addition, we’ve seen a lot of concerns and risks disappear. Back then, the question was why or should anyone adopt cloud. Now, it’s not why or should, rather when.

“It is inventible. I think cloud services will take over the majority of IT spending in the next couple of years.”

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